[OPE-L:58] [OPE-L:291] Re: Chapter 1

Fred B. Moseley (fmoseley@mtholyoke.edu)
Thu, 5 Nov 1998 00:05:58 -0500 (EST)


Thanks again for your reply.

I want to distinguish between two separate questions:

1. If one assumes that the exchange-values of commodities satisfy the
conditions of RST, does this necessarily imply that the exchange-values
are equals?

2. Is it reasonable or fruitful to assume that exchange-values satisfy

Your last post focuses entirely on the second question. However, your
earlier posts had also argued that the answer to the first questions is
NO, and presented indifference as a counter-example.

Can we now agree that the answer to the first question is YES, and that
indifference is irrelevant to Marx's argument? Because Marx's argument is
in terms of real numbers and indifference is not. Real numbers that
satisfy RST are necessarily equal.

This does not get us very far in Marx's overall argument, but it is an
important first step, and one that has been disputed ever since
Bohm-Bawerk. So consensus on the validity of this first point would be at
least a small advance.

The second question is more difficult. I will have something to say about
that soon. But can we at least agree that the answer to the first
question is YES?